It Doesn’t Always Look Like a Hallmark Card

Have you ever read a blog post and thought, “Dog-gone it!!   I was going to write about that!!”   That’s where I am as I write, so I am hoping that I am somehow able to neatly tuck my own thoughts into the words that have been marinating on my heart, mind, and spirit.

As I write, another Fathers’ Day has passed, and although (sadly) Fathers’ Day is not celebrated nearly as much nor as expensively as Mothers’ Day, it still has its trimmings.   Personally, because we know of the number of expenses that will begin to impact this home in a few short weeks, I went the no-gift, nice-card route.

As a parent, there is something that you notice about cards, whether you are celebrating Mothers’ or Fathers’ Day.   The pictures are gorgeous–a parent being adored by his/ her family, all kinds of affection, and a ton of adoration and respect.  And as lovely as those pictures are, there is a reality that underlies–and in some cases, undermines–those picturesque views of parenthood and family life: sometimes, even for good reasons, it just does not look that way.

I talked about my own summer and the amount of running around that my husband and I are doing in helping the children pursue their dreams.   Truth be told, even during the year, when both our younger two are dancing for hours at the studio, dinner together is rare.   And during these two weeks, given the need to drive from the east side, pick our son up (with the youngest in tow) in the city’s center and then continue west so that he can teach before driving east again  for home, dinner together is the three of them over a set of restaurant bags.   Here, I am alone, enjoying my “me time” between laundry loads and a sundry of tasks/indulgences on my laptop.

It occurs to me that, in many ways, homeschooling is not much different.   There are tons of blog posts out there that will point you down the trail of self-directed learning, flowers, bunnies and all.   If you are not careful, you will fall into the trap of believing that if your kids are not smiling and ready to dance at the table, something is wrong.

And that brings me to the words of others.   When my cousin penned his Fathers’ Day message, he talked candidly about the realities of his night, and what it took for him to provide for his family.   It echoed a message that our pastor shared on this past Sunday, about how a father’s actions might not look so glorious in the moment, but scripture promises us that there will come a day when a father will be his children’s glory (Proverbs 17:6).   As mothers, scripture also promises us that our children will arise and call us blessed (Proverbs 31: 28).

Sometimes the truth is that you have to review math facts when your child would rather save the Poptropican cyberworld (my current situation).   You know how hard it is to tackle algebra when decimals, percents, and/or fractions are still a struggle.  The truth is that sometimes you might have to find places of encouragement on the web to remind you why you began homeschooling in the first place.   The truth is that you might have to press forward with what you know is best for your children, even when pressing gets hard.

I write this to myself as much as to anyone else.  Stay consistent with what you know is best, and close to the God of the Bible.  Just as you do your best for your children, whether they recognize it or not, He cares for you.




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